Thanks for all of the comments on Named Plot Styles.
In switching a few years ago, from color to named styles, we had the impetuous to switch. We added enough staff that we really needed to re-document things to bring the new staff up to speed. After 12 years arguing about if color Red was thick or thin, or Color 8 was supposed to plot with virtual pen 3 or 6, the confusion really got to me. There has to be a better way – something a little more WYSIWYG and a little more understandable.
What is the difference between the two methods? In my opinion, not much. It simply is a matter of a look-up table from Layer or Object to either the CTB or STB plot style table. We all “plot” in one way or the other. 😉 [I still have an old pen plotter in my basement]
The image above is the Plot Style Table from acad.ctb. Pretty familiar. There are a lot of settings available. 255 different colors, 2 dithers, 255 pens, 255 Virtual Pens, 100 different Screenings, lots of linetypes, lightweights, end styles, join styles, fill styles, etc. More possible different plot styles and configurations than I want to think about!
Our CTB really only has settings for colors 1-16, 41, and 250-255, 8 different lightweights, and 8 different “virtual pens”. It’s still available for legacy printing. [Don’t ask about #41 – I don’t know]
Our first iteration of STB went over like a lead balloon. We mapped a named plot style to something like BLACK-0.07, and BLACK-.014 etc. There were 32 different options – too many than what Color offered.
This is what we settled upon: Black, 5 different possible screenings of Black, Color and screened Color. Most of the Black shades don’t get used in our template. I like it for its simplicity. Our template has Black, 50%, and one 15% layer.
Object lightweights are now in play on a bylayer setting.
So, how does this sound so far?
Civil 3d does pose some challenges to using Named Plot Styles. I wish that the settings were available everywhere in a Civil3d Object styles, but they are not everywhere. The biggest problem is labels. It works well in some cases, not well in others as some of you noted in my earlier post.